City reprimands officer involved in discrimination dispute

City reprimands gay Duluth officer involved in discrimination dispute

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Officer Bobby Johnson has filed a complaint against the Duluth Police Department alleging his superiors harassed him because he is gay. Officer Bobby Johnson has filed a complaint against the Duluth Police Department alleging his superiors harassed him because he is gay.
DULUTH, Ga. -

A Duluth officer who has accused the police department of discrimination has been reprimanded for alleged sexual conversation. The move is the latest twist in a dispute between the openly gay officer and his department.

Officer Bobby Johnson has filed a complaint against the Duluth Police Department alleging his superiors harassed him because he is gay. The department originally offered Johnson a settlement, which he refused.

On Friday, city officials issued Johnson a formal reprimand accusing him of inappropriate sexual banter and ordered him back to work.

"They chose to continue to harass, belittle, berate [me], and you see, I'm the one that is at fault," Johnson said. "I complained and now I have got a letter of reprimand."

The Duluth City Council voted on Monday to settle Johnson's discrimination complaint by paying him $20,000. He rejected that and now he's been ordered off administrative leave and back to work.

"I find it extremely strange and bizarre, the city would offer me $20,000," Johnson said. "If they didn't think I had a claim then, why would they offer me a settlement?"

Duluth's city attorney, Stephen Pereira, told FOX 5's Justin Gray, "Based on the findings of our independent investigation, the city disputes the allegations that he was the victim of sexual harassment."

The city says their investigation found Johnson at fault.

"Until people stand up for what is right, the same thing that's happened to me right now will never go away," said Johnson.  

Johnson says he will be at work on Monday morning, but he also said that since the story first aired on FOX 5, he's been contacted by other local police departments who want to hire him.

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